Chapter 53 - Of the fight.

Earl Hring and Adils his brother made ready their army, and at once in the night moved southwards for the heath. But when day dawned, Thorolf's sentries saw the army approaching. Then was a war-blast blown, and men donned their arms selects spirited and that they began to draw up the force, and they had two divisions. Earl Alfgeir commanded one division, and the standard was borne before him. In that division were his own followers, and also what force had been gathered from the countryside. It was a much larger fours than that which followed Thorolf and Egil.

Thorolf was thus armed. He had a shield ample and stout, a right strong helmet on his head; he was girded with the sword that he called Long, a weapon large and good. If his hand he had a halberd, whereof the feather-formed blade was two ells long, ending in a four-edged spike; the blade was broad above, the socket both long and thick. The shaft stood just high enough for the hand to grasp the socket, and was remarkably thick. The socket fitted with iron prong on the shaft, which was also wound round with iron. Such weapons were called mail-piercers.

Egil was armed in the same way as Thorolf. He was girded with the sword that he called Adder; this he had gotten in Courland; it was a right good weapon. Neither of the two had shirt of mail.

They set up their standard, which was borne by Thofid the Strong. All their men had Norwegian shields and Norwegian armour in every point; and in their division were all the Norsemen who were present. Thorolf's force was drawn up near the wood, Alfgeir's moved along the river.

Earl Adils and his brother saw that they would not come upon Thorolf unawares, so they began to draw up their force. They also made two divisions, and had two standards. Adils was opposed to earl Alfgeir, Hring to the freebooters. The battle now began; both charged with spirit. Earl Adils pressed on hard and fast till Alfgeir gave ground; then Adils' men pressed on twice as boldly. Nor was it long before Alfgeir fled. And this is to be told of him, that he rode away south over the heath, and a company of men with him. He rode till he came near the town, where sate the king.

Then spake the earl: 'I deem it not safe for us to enter the town. We got sharp words of late when we came to the king after defeat by king Olaf; and he will not think our case bettered by this coming. No need to expect honour where he is.'

Then he rode to the south country, and of his travel 'tis to be told that he rode night and day till he and his came westwards to Earls-ness. Then the earl got a ship to take him southwards over the sea; and he came to France, where half of his kin were. He never after returned to England.

Adils at first pursued the flying foe, but not far; then he turned back to where the battle was, and made an onset there. This when Thorolf saw, he said that Egil should turn and encounter him, and bade the standard be borne that way; his men he bade hold well together and stand close.

'Move we to the wood,' said he, 'and let it cover our back, so that they may not come at us from all sides.'

They did so; they followed along the wood. Fierce was the battle there. Egil charged against Adils, and they had a hard fight of it. The odds of numbers were great, yet more of Adils' men fell than of Egil's.

Then Thorolf became so furious that he cast his shield on his back, and, grasping his halberd with both hands, bounded forward dealing cut and thrust on either side. Men sprang away from him both ways, but he slew many. Thus he cleared the way forward to earl Hring's standard, and then nothing could stop him. He slew the man who bore the earl's standard, and cut down the standard-pole. After that he lunged with his halberd at the earl's breast, driving it right through mail-coat and body, so that it came out at the shoulders; and he lifted him up on the halberd over his head, and planted the butt-end in the ground. There on the weapon the earl breathed out his life in sight of all, both friends and foes. Then Thorolf drew his sword and dealt blows on either side, his men also charging. Many Britons and Scots fell, but some turned and fled.

But earl Adils seeing his brother's fall, and the slaughter of many of his force, and the flight of some, while himself was in hard stress, turned to fly, and ran to the wood. Into the wood fled he and his company; and then all the force that had followed the earl took to flight. Thorolf and Egil pursued the flying foe. Great was then the slaughter; the fugitives were scattered far and wide over the heath. Earl Adils had lowered his standard; so none could know his company from others.

And soon the darkness of night began to close in. Thorolf and Egil returned to their camp; and just then king Athelstan came up with the main army, and they pitched their tents and made their arrangements. A little after came king Olaf with his army; they, too, encamped and made their arrangements where their men had before placed their tents. Then it was told king Olaf that both his earls Hring and Adils were fallen, and a multitude of his men likewise.

 



53. kafli - Um bardaga.

Hringr jarl ok Ails, brir hans, bjuggu her sinn ok fru egar um nttina sur heiina. En er ljst var, s varmenn eira rlfs, hvar herrinn fr. Var blsinn herblstr, ok herklddust menn, tku san at fylkja liinu ok hfu tvr fylkingar. R lfgeirr jarl fyrir annarri fylking, ok var merki borit fyrir honum. Var eiri fylking li at, er honum hafi fylgt, ok sv at li, er ar hafi til safnazt r heruum. Var at miklu fleira li en at, er eim rlfi fylgi.

rlfr var sv binn, at hann hafi skjld van ok ykkvan, hjlm hfi allsterkan, gyrr sveri v, er hann kallai Lang, mikit vpn ok gott. Kesju hafi hann hendi. Fjrin var tveggja lna lng ok sleginn fram broddr ferstrendr, en upp var fjrin brei, falrinn bi langr ok digr, skaftit var eigi hra en taka mtti hendi til fals ok furuliga digrt. Jrnteinn var falnum ok skaftit allt jrnvafit. au spjt vru kllu brynvarar.

Egill hafi inn sama bna sem rlfr. Hann var gyrr sveri v, er hann kallai Nar. at sver hafi hann fengit Krlandi. Var at it bezta vpn. Hvrrgi eira hafi brynju.

eir settu merki upp, ok bar at orfir strangi. Allt li eira hafi norrna skjldu ok allan norrnan herbna. eiri fylking vru allir norrnir menn, eir er ar vru. Fylku eir rlfr nr skginum, en lfgeirs fylking fr me nni.

Ails jarl ok eir brr s at, at eir myndi ekki koma eim rlfi vart. tku eir at fylkja snu lii. Geru eir ok tvr fylkingar ok hfu tvau merki. Fylki Ails mti lfgeiri jarli, en Hringr mti vkingum. San tkst ar orrosta. Gengu hvrirtveggju vel fram.

Ails jarl stti hart fram, ar til er lfgeirr lt undan sgast, en Ails menn sttu hlfu djarfligar. Var ok eigi lengi, r en lfgeirr fli, ok er at fr honum at segja, at hann rei undan sur heiina ok sveit manna me honum. Rei hann, ar til er hann kom nr borg eiri, er konungr sat.

mlti jarlinn: "Ekki tla ek oss fara til borgarinnar. Vr fengum mikit oraskak nst, er vr kmum til konungs, er vr hfum farit sigr fyrir lfi konungi, ok ekki mun honum ykkja batnat hafa vrr kostr essi fer. Mun n ekki urfa at tla til sma, ar sem hann er."

San rei hann sur landit, ok er fr hans fer at at segja, at hann rei dag ok ntt, ar til er eir kmu vestr Jarlsnes. Fekk jarl sr ar far sur um s ok kom fram Vallandi. ar tti hann kyn hlft. Kom hann aldregi san til Englands.

Ails rak fyrst flttann ok eigi langt, r hann snr aftr ok ar til, er orrostan var, ok veitti atgngu.

En er rlfr s at, sneri hann mti jarli ok ba angat bera merkit, ba menn sna fylgjast vel ok standa ykkt. "okum at skginum," sagi hann, "ok ltum hann hlfa bak oss, sv at eir megi eigi llum megum at oss ganga."

eir geru sv, fylgu fram skginum. Var hr orrosta. Stti Egill mti Asli, ok ttust eir vi hr skipti. Lismunr var allmikill, ok fell meir li eira Ails.

rlfr gerist sv r, at hann kastai skildinum bak sr, en tk spjtit tveim hndum. Hljp hann fram ok hj ea lagi til beggja handa. Stukku menn fr tveggja vegna, en hann drap marga. Ruddi hann sv stginn fram at merki jarlsins Hrings, ok helzt ekki vi honum. Hann drap ann mann, er bar merki Hrings jarls, ok hj nir merkisstngina. San lagi hann spjtinu fyrir brjst jarlinum gegnum brynjuna ok bkinn, sv at t gekk um herarnar, ok hf hann upp kesjunni yfir hfu sr ok skaut nir spjtshalanum jrina, en jarlinn sfist spjtinu, ok s at allir, bi hans menn ok sv hans vinir. San br rlfr "sverinu, ok hj hann til beggja handa. Sttu ok at hans menn. Fellu mjk Bretar ok Skotar, en sumir snerust fltta.

En er Ails jarl s fall brur sns ok mannfall mikit af lii hans, en sumir flu, en hann ttist hart nir koma, sneri hann fltta ok rann til skgarins. Hann fli skginn ok hans sveit. Tk at flja li at, er eim hafi fylgt. Gerist mannfall mikit af flttamnnum, ok dreifist flttinn va um heiina. Ails jarl hafi nir drepit merki snu, ok vissi engi, hvrt hann fr ea arir menn. Tk brtt at myrkva af ntt, en eir rlfr ok Egill sneru aftr til herba sinna, ok jafnskjtt kom ar Aalsteinn konungr me allan her sinn ok slgu landtjldum snum ok bjuggust um.

Litlu sar kom lfr konungr me sinn her. Tjlduu eir ok bjuggust um, ar sem eira menn hfu tjaldat. Var lfi konungi sagt, at fallnir vru eir bir jarlar hans, Hringr ok Ails, ok mikill fjli annarra manna hans.







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